Flight To Los Angeles

by Aug 16, 2021Theme: The False Self

Continued from yesterday…

One time, I was scheduled on a flight from Europe to Los Angeles. Arriving early at the airport, I asked the check-in staff if I could use my points to upgrade to a flatbed seat in Premier Business Class. The representative assured me that it was possible, but I would need to visit the sales office in another section of the airport. So I went there and was yet again referred to another sales office on the gate side of the terminal.

Passing through security, I arrived there about 20 minutes later. After a wait in line, I finally sat down with the representative and again asked if I could purchase an upgrade using my points. The agent looked at her computer and told me that she had two seats remaining and would be delighted to help me.

A few minutes passed while she was busy speaking to someone on the phone. Then she asked me for my credit card and the frequent flier account to charge for the upgrade. A few more minutes went by, and now she looked at me with a hint of distress and said, “I’m so sorry, sir, but someone else just purchased the last two Business Premier Class seats.”

My mind could have quickly raced toward the injustice of the situation. I had experienced one delay after another by what appeared to be an inattentive staff. Besides, I enjoyed my “special” status as a Platinum Frequent Flier member and a Million-Mile Flier. Now, I’d have to suffer the consequences of stuffing my 6-foot-5 frame into a small economy seat, because I couldn’t upgrade my ticket. There was no shortage of arguments I could make to justify outrage for how the situation had been handled.

But rather than complaining, which would strengthen the ego’s victim role, I expressed gratitude to the sales agent, who was already apologizing profusely. I told her not to worry about it and reached out to shake her hand in appreciation.

Again, she said how sorry she was, but unfortunately, there were no more flatbed seats available on the flight. I felt her genuine embarrassment and identified with it. So I sincerely wished her all the best and walked away in an unusual state of calm. I realized that my comfort level on the plane might be affected, but my happiness does not depend upon which seat I occupy.

To be continued tomorrow…

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